"His preparation will be no different than it's been all year in getting ready for the playoffs. You never know what's between a guy's ears until they've been through (the playoffs) and survived. The beauty of this is (Chris Osgood) will be getting himself ready, but in saying that, Howie is our guy. We're going into the playoffs thinking he's going to be good."--Mike Babcock
Thinking/hoping/wishing...but with confidence. Howard has played absolutely awesome this year...for the most part, anyway:
"His first few games weren't very darn good and it put us in a situation where we're saying, 'Geez, we probably should have kept (Ty) Conklin. Now we're talking about Howie as a candidate for rookie of the year. Ten years from now, we'll all look back on Jimmy Howard and say he had a real good rookie year and then ran it nine more -- or, things just didn't go as well for him."--Mike Babcock (again)
That's just Babbles being Babbles.
Regardless of ESPN's "he's too old to win the Calder" argument, Howard should be the front runner for the Rookie of the Year. Nobody is talking about the Vezina or the Hart Trophy, but come on...Jimmy is 5th place in overall Save Percentage and 7th place in Goals Against Average. Where would the Red Wings be if he was a middle of the road goalie in terms of those stats? Think they'd be in the play-offs?
Oh...Jimmy is also 10th in the league with 34 wins, none of the nine goalies above him have played less games (60) this season.